09/09/2016 BBC Parliament on BBC Two


09/09/2016

Angela Rayner MP asks an Urgent Question on government plans for grammar schools and Will Quince MP introduces a Ten Minute Rule Bill on parental bereavement leave.


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To of the Secretary of State for Education to make a statement

:00:16.:00:29.

on government plans to lift the statutory ban on opening

:00:30.:00:32.

As the Prime Minister has said, this government is committed

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to building a country which works for everyone and not only

:00:40.:00:42.

We believe every person should have the opportunity

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to fulfil their potential, no matter what their background,

:00:54.:00:55.

Education is at the heart of this ambition.

:00:56.:00:59.

We inherited a system from the last Labour government,

:01:00.:01:01.

however, were too many children left school without the qualifications,

:01:02.:01:04.

or the skills they needed to be successful in life.

:01:05.:01:10.

Our far-reaching reforms in the last six years have changed that.

:01:11.:01:13.

Strengthening school leadership, improving standards of behaviour

:01:14.:01:15.

in classrooms and making sure children are taught to read more

:01:16.:01:18.

effectively, improving mathematics teaching in primary schools.

:01:19.:01:27.

There are now 1.4 million more pupils in schools rated as good,

:01:28.:01:30.

That means more young people are getting the opportunity

:01:31.:01:36.

to access better teaching and to maximise their potential.

:01:37.:01:41.

That is what we want for all children and we are

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continuing reforms so that every child can have the best

:01:45.:01:46.

We are doubling the childcare to 30 hours for parents of three

:01:47.:01:52.

and four-year-olds and in July, on the issue of academic selection

:01:53.:01:55.

We cannot rule anything out which could help grow opportunity

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for all and give more people the chance to do well in life.

:02:00.:02:06.

The landscape for schools has changed greatly, we now have

:02:07.:02:09.

There will be no binary choice of the past, we're schools separate

:02:10.:02:14.

people into winners, losers, success or failure.

:02:15.:02:18.

We want to build on our success and create a truly 21st

:02:19.:02:33.

We want a system that can cater for talent and the abilities

:02:34.:02:38.

of every single child, so to achieve that we need a truly

:02:39.:02:41.

diverse range of schools and specialisms.

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We need more good schools in more areas of the country responding

:02:43.:02:48.

to the needs of every child, regardless of their background.

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Education policy, that will be set in due course.

:03:02.:03:07.

Despite the waffle, the cat is finally out of the bag.

:03:08.:03:18.

The government has revealed their plans for new grammar schools

:03:19.:03:20.

Will the Secretary of State promised today that future announcements

:03:21.:03:37.

will be made here so that we can give the policy the scrutiny it

:03:38.:03:41.

And perhaps she can tell us the evidence base for it today.

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As she read the ISS report entry into grammar schools in England?

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If so, perhaps she remembers the conclusion that among high

:03:55.:03:56.

achievers, those that are eligible for free school meals

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are significantly less likely to go to grammar school.

:04:00.:04:07.

The OECD, the Sutton Trust, and even the government's on social

:04:08.:04:10.

mobility Tsar have cited evidence against this policy.

:04:11.:04:18.

With schools facing jail term cuts to the budget for the first time

:04:19.:04:25.

in nearly two decades, pushing ahead with grammar schools

:04:26.:04:34.

shows a dangerous misunderstanding will be the lucky few that can

:04:35.:04:42.

afford the tuition who will get ahead, and the disadvantage that

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A policy for the few at the expense of the many.

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Mr Speaker, I was told that the Tories know the cost

:05:29.:05:51.

of everything but the value of nothing.

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I do not even think they know that any more.

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Finally, the Prime Minister promised to lead a one Nation government,

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but she said her policy would be led by the evidence.

:06:03.:06:06.

She claimed she would govern for the disadvantaged and not

:06:07.:06:09.

the privileged few, but this policy fail on every single count.

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It may be a new Prime Minister, but the same old nasty Tories.

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I suppose the first thing I would say to the honourable lady

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is we haven't actually made any policy announcements yet.

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She has given a commentary on I guess what she presumes that

:06:34.:06:38.

policy announcement will be, and I would encourage her to wait.

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But broadly, what we're interested in doing is increasing diversity,

:06:43.:06:46.

meeting parents' desire for choice to have a school nearby to them

:06:47.:06:50.

who matches the needs of their child, and we also

:06:51.:06:54.

want to see capacity built in the system in two weighs.

:06:55.:06:58.

More schools near to children where they need them.

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Despite all the reforms we have had and improvements in attainment,

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there are still children who cannot get access to a good enough school.

:07:07.:07:13.

Also building capacity by having some of the best schools

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in the system to help collectively obtain standards as a whole.

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We want to see all parts of the education system,

:07:22.:07:23.

universities as well, playing a stronger, better

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Well, she quotes a report by the ISS that mentions issues

:07:26.:07:34.

on free school meals, but I must say, I do not

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She seems to be criticising the status quo whilst resolutely

:07:38.:07:48.

It was really interesting listening to her because the words

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were in many respects the voices I heard, the voices of my childhood,

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people having a dogmatic debate about the education system,

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whilst I studied in my local comprehensive and entirely untouched

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What we want to do and what we think this parliament and the country

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should do is to be prepared to look at the practical ways that we can

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improve attainment for our children and to be prepared to leave no stone

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Frankly, to complain about one aspect of our school system and then

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say that we shouldn't even have a debate about that element

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is frankly an untenable argument and it is essentially politics

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and dogma coming before pupils and opportunity.

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It is about prioritising benches opposite, as we can see today,

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of an ideological debate, when what we want is a debate

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about the practical steps we can take to tackle generational failure

:08:54.:08:56.

and schools that are not still delivering for children

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It would be wrong to discount how we can improve prospects for those

:09:00.:09:12.

children, especially the most disadvantaged, purely

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If Labour is not willing to ask itself these difficult questions,

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how can it possibly come up with any of the solutions?

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We do believe selection can play a role.

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We think that there is evidence to show that it does for many

:09:25.:09:28.

But anyhow we would need to leave no stone unturned, we will be

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World Economic Forum has recommended that reminded us that we are well

:09:39.:09:55.

down on the table for literacy and numeracy.

:09:56.:09:57.

Some 17% of 18-year-olds struggle with literacy,

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and this figure is even worse for numeracy, 25%.

:10:03.:10:08.

It is necessary for discussion about grammar schools not

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to distract us for the fundamental task of improving social mobility

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and ensuring we make the best use of all the talent across the whole

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country and not just talk about the few?

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Going back to the Sutton Trust report, which actually did focus

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particularly on free school meals children and how they performed

:10:37.:10:39.

in grammar schools, their educational games

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from attaining in grammar schools were twice as high pupils with free

:10:41.:10:43.

school meals compared to the overall impact at pupils overall.

:10:44.:10:51.

Whilst they provide the stretching outstanding education for children

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from all backgrounds, they are one part of a very

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A school system that has transformed out of all recognition

:10:57.:11:12.

from when grammar is originally were introduced.

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I think what we now need to do is think about how we can

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have a 21st century education policy that takes a pragmatic look

:11:22.:11:23.

at the role of grammar schools, and across the whole of the system.

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He is right that we will not lose sight of the broader reforms

:11:28.:11:31.

that we are bringing through that will improve standards

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The Secretary of State represents a London constituency,

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so she will know that London schools have improved dramatically.

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Does she agree that has happened because of focus on high standards

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for all children in all schools, not by going down the route

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of selection, and I urge her today not to go back, not to turn

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the clock back to grammar schools, but to focus on high standards

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in all schools in all parts of the country for all children?

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I think I can reassure him, we will not be turning

:12:07.:12:09.

He speaks about London, and I think the London lessons

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around collaboration, school leadership and sharing those

:12:14.:12:14.

best practice experiences across schools.

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I think the challenge I want us to discuss is how we can make sure

:12:17.:12:20.

all schools play a role in doing that, rather than simply saying that

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grammar is set on one side and should not play as greater role

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I think they should, and I think we have

:12:28.:12:34.

Fundamentally, this is about having more good school places for more

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children, about building capacity by better places and more places,

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and about sharing best practice and improving school leadership

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by having schools working closely together.

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I am fortunate to have an excellent grammar school in my constituency.

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As my honourable friend will know, people move to Kent

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Does she agree that it is not right for an excellent academic education

:13:10.:13:14.

to be only available to those who can move to the catchment areas

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We need to improve diversity and choice.

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As the Prime Minister said, too often in Britain we have

:13:25.:13:30.

selection, but on the basis of House prices which is totally

:13:31.:13:33.

We need to challenge ourselves to talk about how we can change that

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and improve standards for children wherever they are in the country.

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And simply saying something is off the table because of political

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ideology and dogma does not serve the children that we want to see

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have an improved prospect for the future.

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Can I thank the new Secretary of State and beg her to listen

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I cheer the advisory Council of the Sutton Trust.

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Listen to the Sutton Trust because we believe in

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Listen to the Chief Inspector of schools.

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And indeed just look at the areas where, for years we have had this

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kind of education, and what it has done to the entirety.

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Look at Kent, and it sure looks at Kent in depth,

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I think it is time that we looked at the Kent experience.

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I know that Kent themselves have done a lot of work to really dig

:14:43.:14:46.

into the background as to how they can get more children

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from disadvantaged backgrounds into the grammar schools.

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He has raised issues, a principle, and my response would be

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if that is how he feels, why would he want to discount

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looking at the areas of grammar schools to see how we can make them

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work effectively not just for children who get to them,

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but for those who do not get to them, how grammar schools work

:15:04.:15:07.

It seems to me that the response of the Labour Party to all of those

:15:08.:15:22.

challenges is to raise them, but then simply put them on one

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Bradford is one of the worst performing education

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There is a wide provision of some outstanding results

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Where people can afford to buy a House and a good catchment area,

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they can get themselves to a school that produces outstanding results,

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and those who cannot afford a House and a good catchment area tend

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Went on people in Bradford get access to the very best grammar

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They surely shouldn't not just be a preserve of the Tory areas.

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I think he speaks for many constituency MPs, and the point

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It should not be for government to deprive them of the joys of how

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So this is about choice, diversity and building capacity

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The Secretary of State knows that apart from the best possible

:16:21.:16:33.

teaching, the most important thing we can do for young people

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is to encourage them as they make their way through school.

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Given that as a nation we still deal with the legacy of a divided

:16:40.:16:43.

education system, why on earth does she think that subjecting more

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11-year-old children to that experience and their tearful parents

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having opened the envelope telling them that they have failed,

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is going to encourage and support them in their self-esteem

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and the continuing career through the education system?

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Dare I said, get another Labour MP saying what is wrong

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with the current system, while arguing we should not

:17:00.:17:02.

The legacy we are interested in challenging was the one left

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by the last Labour government, inflation, declining standards,

:17:18.:17:19.

children leaving the system without even basics

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I sat on a train last weekend and listened to a young man talking

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about how the fact he did not know how to spell was holding him

:17:38.:17:40.

We managed to take power from the Labour Party

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but he is having to live with the consequences

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of an education system is fundamentally failed him every

:17:47.:17:48.

We inherited a university system with a limit on the number

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Record numbers that were not in employment,

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Youth unemployment had gone up by 50% by the time

:17:59.:18:06.

Not only do we want to make up for lost ground but make sure

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beyond that we leave no stone unturned, we look across the whole

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education system, to make sure we turbo-charge the prospects

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and opportunities that all children in our country,

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but especially the most disadvantaged, and especially those

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who do not currently have the opportunities they need,

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I welcome the Government decision to at least open this debate.

:18:28.:18:45.

It should be no part of a Conservative government's

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policy to have a statutory ban on the establishment

:18:48.:18:50.

Evidence in my area, where they are available just down

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the road in the neighbouring council area indicates there is widespread

:19:00.:19:02.

support for the establishment of a grammar school.

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Coastal communities are particularly vulnerable to poorer education

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standards and I hope she will consider that

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And could I also urge to consider the possible

:19:10.:19:15.

I am sure he will be interested to see our policies

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He raises some of the different elements of the secondary system

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currently the and the desire that I know he has to make sure his local

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community has access to better, good schools for more local

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children and that is exactly what we are aiming to achieve.

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I think the Secretary of State is right not to rule out

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a discussion on grammar schools as part of the wide types of schools

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we have in this country and I declare an interest

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as the product of a wonderful grammar school.

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Would she like to visit Northern Ireland, where grammar

:20:03.:20:05.

schools still exist, they are hugely popular and weather

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is good education across the spectrum, no matter

:20:08.:20:22.

what the ability of the young person at Northern Ireland's results

:20:23.:20:25.

continue to improve and be better than the United Kingdom

:20:26.:20:28.

and that there is very little private education?

:20:29.:20:30.

Perhaps she would like to talk to the first Minister in Northern

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I thank her for that invitation and I am sure I will want to take up

:20:34.:20:38.

I should emphasise to the House that as my honourable friend said,

:20:39.:20:42.

this is the opening up of a debate and I think it is important to have

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this poor our children if we are to rise to the challenge

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of looking at what it takes to improve attainment and making

:20:51.:20:53.

sure we have good schools where they are growing up.

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We are going to look at these options carefully.

:20:56.:20:58.

I recognise this is a very emotive debate.

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That is because it matters but that is also why we should be

:21:01.:21:05.

prepared to have a debate about this, given how much

:21:06.:21:08.

the broader school system has now changed.

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I will look very carefully at all of the arguments that

:21:11.:21:16.

are made and all of the evidence that is produced because I do think

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I will say to colleagues that I am keen to hear from colleagues

:21:20.:21:24.

across all sides of the House and we will be setting out

:21:25.:21:27.

I welcome her comments very warmly indeed.

:21:28.:21:32.

All children have the rights to fulfil their full potential.

:21:33.:21:35.

Will the Secretary of State assure the House she is considering all

:21:36.:21:38.

methods of selection and that this is not all about bringing back

:21:39.:21:41.

We will set out our policy is much more broadly, but I can assure you,

:21:42.:21:52.

Mr Speaker, there will be no return to the past.

:21:53.:21:54.

This is about moving forward, having a 21st-century approach

:21:55.:21:57.

in relation to the school system, precisely not one rooted

:21:58.:22:00.

I hope the party opposite can engage in a modern debate rather than one

:22:01.:22:05.

I think in the clamour coming from some areas about creating

:22:06.:22:20.

new grammar schools, what many people forget

:22:21.:22:25.

is when you create a new grammar school, you also create

:22:26.:22:28.

secondary modern schools because of the skewing of the intake

:22:29.:22:30.

The chief inspector in his speech to London local government on Monday

:22:31.:22:35.

accepted that grammar schools where they do exist do a fine job

:22:36.:22:38.

with the intake they have, but have a very poor track record

:22:39.:22:41.

in terms of admitting youngsters from a non-middle-class background.

:22:42.:22:47.

If we are going to go down this road, what can the Secretary

:22:48.:22:51.

of State dude confirmed that would be the case in other parts

:22:52.:22:54.

I think it again underlines why we are right to open up this

:22:55.:23:00.

In a way, we are not going to tackle any of the issues he cares

:23:01.:23:10.

about without having a broad look about what a modern policy approach

:23:11.:23:14.

We should not simply discount the excellent education so many

:23:15.:23:20.

children do get at grammar school, including children

:23:21.:23:22.

We should look harder at how we can make sure grammar schools play

:23:23.:23:27.

the role more collaboratively in a broader system to make sure

:23:28.:23:30.

they build up capacity and more good places as they steadily

:23:31.:23:33.

Yesterday in the course of an education select committee

:23:34.:23:36.

hearing we have the evidence, the truism of what can affect

:23:37.:23:39.

attainment most is good teaching in the classroom,

:23:40.:23:41.

Does she agree sometimes structures can support learning and the recent

:23:42.:23:45.

study of 2011 showed that giving schools autonomy improves outcome,

:23:46.:23:48.

so that further choice for parents, teachers and students may

:23:49.:23:51.

Critically, we need to have the right level of autonomy

:23:52.:24:13.

for schools so they can actually get on with the job

:24:14.:24:16.

of teaching our children, but also fantastic leadership

:24:17.:24:18.

We know from the London experience that was critical.

:24:19.:24:42.

Heads showing what could be done in difficult schools and working

:24:43.:24:45.

with others for their schools to put in place the same sort of approaches

:24:46.:24:49.

and then teaching staff more broadly that are motivated and able to work

:24:50.:24:53.

in the classroom effectively with children who are able to be

:24:54.:24:56.

disciplined ineffectively by the head and a head that

:24:57.:24:58.

genuinely feels they have control and leadership over the school.

:24:59.:25:01.

All of these things make a difference and beyond that,

:25:02.:25:04.

if we are really going to make an impact on the long-term social

:25:05.:25:07.

mobility in Britain, which will not change overnight,

:25:08.:25:09.

we need not only schools and the education family to be

:25:10.:25:12.

driving social mobility, but we need local communities,

:25:13.:25:15.

business, universities, civil society, everybody needs

:25:16.:25:16.

to play a role alongside core education reform,

:25:17.:25:18.

to make sure children inside the classroom and also

:25:19.:25:21.

outside are getting the skills, knowledge, the advice and experience

:25:22.:25:23.

they will need to truly develop their potential.

:25:24.:25:33.

When the former chief inspector said that the idea that poor children

:25:34.:25:39.

will benefit from an expansion in the number of grammar schools

:25:40.:25:42.

was nonsense, was he being ideological?

:25:43.:25:46.

In opening up this debate, there will be people that have

:25:47.:25:49.

different views but I do not believe that as a reason not

:25:50.:25:52.

The issue of improving attainment and having more good school places

:25:53.:25:57.

for more children, building the capacity that we need

:25:58.:26:00.

in our system for it to have great schools on the doorstep is too

:26:01.:26:03.

important to put in the bracket that it is too hard and we should

:26:04.:26:07.

We should have the debate and work out what we need to do to do

:26:08.:26:20.

a better job of raising attainment for children who currently

:26:21.:26:23.

I am not an expert on the theory of secondary education but having

:26:24.:26:33.

attended a grammar school with a largely working-class

:26:34.:26:35.

contingent in the 1960s, I know something about the practice

:26:36.:26:38.

Can the Secretary of State explain why it is acceptable to nurture

:26:39.:26:47.

and promote sporting excellence, but not academic excellence?

:26:48.:27:02.

He raises a good point around the broader issue of selection,

:27:03.:27:05.

which is that all children are different and therefore,

:27:06.:27:07.

playing to those talents and natural interests of children is important.

:27:08.:27:10.

Parents should have more choice and more diversity in the school

:27:11.:27:13.

system to find not only a good school but a good school that

:27:14.:27:17.

will be particularly good for the child.

:27:18.:27:18.

The job of education in the 21st century is to maximise opportunity

:27:19.:27:33.

for the maximum number of children, whatever their background.

:27:34.:27:36.

The Ofsted chief Inspector said this week that a return to grammar

:27:37.:27:39.

He said it would be a profoundly retrograde step that would actually

:27:40.:27:44.

lead to overall standards sliding back, not improving.

:27:45.:27:46.

He said just 9% of disadvantaged children go to the grammar schools

:27:47.:27:49.

in grammar school Bexley, were as a non-grammar school

:27:50.:27:52.

Hackney, 62% of children go to university compared to 48%

:27:53.:27:54.

Does she not agree that where there is a failure

:27:55.:28:19.

and disadvantage, the answer should not be a festival of bringing back

:28:20.:28:22.

but instead a focus on expanding opportunity for all schools right

:28:23.:28:25.

Expanding opportunity is at the heart

:28:26.:28:28.

I would encourage him to rather than jump the gun,

:28:29.:28:32.

wait and see the Government proposals when they are set out.

:28:33.:28:35.

Yet again, we have heard from the party opposite

:28:36.:28:37.

of complaints about the current system while apparently maintaining

:28:38.:28:40.

a position of not wanting to have a debate about how we can

:28:41.:28:43.

improve it and make it better overall and ensure that improvement

:28:44.:28:46.

is something the whole school system can benefit from.

:28:47.:28:53.

I realise the honourable gentleman may experience some teething

:28:54.:28:56.

problems as he makes his adjustments to life in the backbenchers.

:28:57.:28:59.

We look forward to hearing from him on a regular basis but unfortunately

:29:00.:29:02.

he is no longer a minister and does not have a guaranteed slot,

:29:03.:29:06.

but an expectant nation will now hear him!

:29:07.:29:08.

I am slowly readjusting to the metaphysical plane.

:29:09.:29:10.

I welcome what the Secretary of State has said about

:29:11.:29:13.

But will she acknowledge that a grammar school might not be suited

:29:14.:29:26.

I would not relish the prospect of informing parents informing

:29:27.:29:31.

bread, Milton or Leamington that the child had not been able

:29:32.:29:34.

to get into the grammar school and would have to be

:29:35.:29:37.

He raises an important point about how local communities needs

:29:38.:29:52.

to be intrinsically involved in how the school system locally develops.

:29:53.:29:59.

I can assure him we are very seasoned in that.

:30:00.:30:06.

I should also take this opportunity to put on record how much I enjoyed

:30:07.:30:10.

working with him in our previous department roles for education.

:30:11.:30:13.

He did an outstanding job and was a pleasure to have

:30:14.:30:16.

All of us wants the best for our children.

:30:17.:30:20.

But following on from my honourable friend for Gateshead,

:30:21.:30:23.

in answering his question, which in my view she did not,

:30:24.:30:26.

does she not understand the very real concern is that

:30:27.:30:28.

in reintroducing grammar schools, you also reintroduce secondary

:30:29.:30:30.

You recreate the division that there has been a consensus

:30:31.:30:34.

about that we should not allow within the education system.

:30:35.:30:37.

How is it that proposing new grammar schools,

:30:38.:30:39.

which will bring secondary moderns is going to improve attainment

:30:40.:30:42.

for all pupils in all of our communities?

:30:43.:30:47.

The fundamental premise of his question I think is wrong.

:30:48.:30:56.

This is absolutely not about going back to the past.

:30:57.:30:59.

Secondary moderns for many years did not even put their children

:31:00.:31:02.

Our school system has reformed, thankfully, beyond all

:31:03.:31:12.

The premise of his question is wrong.

:31:13.:31:15.

This is about improving standards for all children.

:31:16.:31:18.

He asked about how we can make that happen.

:31:19.:31:21.

One of the ways is having good and outstanding schools playing more

:31:22.:31:24.

of a role, lifting other schools that can benefit

:31:25.:31:27.

Could I welcome the Secretary of State's focus on excellence

:31:28.:31:34.

in education for all and invite her to Salisbury to look at the mixed

:31:35.:31:38.

economy with grammar schools, UTC, a free six form,

:31:39.:31:41.

local authority schools and a multi-Academy trust forming

:31:42.:31:43.

shortly, and also place matters is on the dynamic between those

:31:44.:31:46.

different types of schools and how in particular grammar schools work

:31:47.:31:49.

with the neighbours nearby to raise standards across the board?

:31:50.:31:55.

Finally, the focus on the P8 school which does a loss to put into focus

:31:56.:31:59.

the progress made by every school would surely needs to be

:32:00.:32:02.

He is right, collaboration and having good schools working

:32:03.:32:19.

with families to raise attainment is important.

:32:20.:32:21.

We should be challenging schools on progress that every child.

:32:22.:32:24.

Part of the problem of this approach of getting people into GCSEs

:32:25.:32:31.

was that it missed out the progress schools often make brilliantly

:32:32.:32:34.

with children that are perhaps further back in there attainment,

:32:35.:32:36.

On a consensual note, she will agree that the biggest

:32:37.:32:52.

problem is underperforming boys in poorer areas.

:32:53.:32:54.

How does she think the creation of grammar schools is a solution

:32:55.:32:59.

You will be pleased to hear that the Department for Education

:33:00.:33:14.

We're allowed to have more than one to tackle poor attainment,

:33:15.:33:18.

and we will be bringing forward some proposals on how we feel the broader

:33:19.:33:22.

school system, including grammars, can work more effectively and indeed

:33:23.:33:25.

the education system can improve attainment.

:33:26.:33:26.

But he is right to highlight white working-class boys in particular.

:33:27.:33:29.

Some work was done by the Sutton Trust that looked

:33:30.:33:32.

at primary schools that were doing a good job on improving attainment

:33:33.:33:35.

of white working-class boys, and sadly only eight to ten really

:33:36.:33:47.

improved attainment dramatically, but we can learn from the experience

:33:48.:33:50.

and make sure the best practices spread more effectively.

:33:51.:33:52.

But it is critical, and he is right to focus on it.

:33:53.:34:03.

There is no doubt that there is a virtual scrum of parents around

:34:04.:34:07.

almost every grammar school in the country trying to take

:34:08.:34:09.

advantage of the excellent education opportunities they provide.

:34:10.:34:25.

The answer is not to sneer at grammar schools or to try

:34:26.:34:28.

to close them down, the option surely should be to enhance them.

:34:29.:34:32.

At the moment new schools can select on the basis of children's ability

:34:33.:34:35.

at performing arts, sport and music, but not on that ability

:34:36.:34:38.

He is right, and the scrums around good schools, not just grammar

:34:39.:34:44.

schools, so our focus has to be on opening up the system as much

:34:45.:34:48.

as we can to maximise our ability to get good schools and more good

:34:49.:34:52.

places for children in their local area, and many of our colleagues

:34:53.:34:55.

have spoken about how children come from miles away to the good school

:34:56.:34:58.

Perhaps if we already had a good school closer to where those

:34:59.:35:02.

children left, they would not need to do and they would not

:35:03.:35:06.

spend their time travelling and losing out on homework and study

:35:07.:35:09.

I welcome the comprehensively educated Secretary

:35:10.:35:18.

The age of 11 is too early to make final decisions which affect

:35:19.:35:23.

the child's whole future, so said Margaret Thatcher,

:35:24.:35:25.

the Secretary of State who oversaw the most expansive

:35:26.:35:27.

Does she really want to bring back secondary modern and grammar schools

:35:28.:35:31.

with a negative impact on achievement, predicted

:35:32.:35:33.

by Her Majesty is inspected and a negative impact on social

:35:34.:35:36.

mobility predicted by the government's

:35:37.:35:38.

I have a great amount of respect for the honourable gentleman

:35:39.:35:58.

and now that he spent a career in education before coming into this

:35:59.:36:01.

place, and I would simply say to him to wait for the policy options to,

:36:02.:36:05.

it, and I will be interested to hear his response to those

:36:06.:36:09.

I went to a state grammar school in south London and I owe my place

:36:10.:36:19.

The best grammar schools actively seek children from disadvantaged

:36:20.:36:23.

backgrounds, and Wallington County Grammar next door to Croydon has 14%

:36:24.:36:25.

With the Secretary of State support their plans to open up

:36:26.:36:30.

a satellite grammar school in my constituency, rather

:36:31.:36:32.

like the one opened up in Sevenoaks a few months ago?

:36:33.:36:48.

I think all of us are here because of the education

:36:49.:36:51.

I think the challenge we face and we are debating is how we can

:36:52.:36:56.

make sure that no child misses out on that opportunity

:36:57.:36:59.

because of the postcode lottery of where they happen to be have been

:37:00.:37:02.

We need to make sure that whatever kind of good schools they are,

:37:03.:37:07.

that they have more freedom to be able to expand and deliver more good

:37:08.:37:11.

places in our school system for children who do not

:37:12.:37:14.

I have listened carefully to the Secretary of State,

:37:15.:37:19.

and I have not heard her explicitly support the policy announced

:37:20.:37:22.

by the Prime Minister that the backbench Conservative

:37:23.:37:24.

Given that the Prime Minister has repeatedly boasted that she likes

:37:25.:37:31.

to take decisions thinking very carefully about them based

:37:32.:37:34.

on evidence, is she aware of any evidence that shows that a grammar

:37:35.:37:37.

school system improves attainment across the piece or

:37:38.:37:39.

As I have said in the past, we have not set out the policy proposals.

:37:40.:37:57.

I would point him to the search by the Sutton Trust which clearly

:37:58.:38:02.

set out the improved attainment for free school meal children,

:38:03.:38:05.

but also actually said that in that particular piece of research

:38:06.:38:08.

they did not see any negative impact on children outside of the grammar

:38:09.:38:12.

I recognise that there are different studies that have recognised

:38:13.:38:15.

different challenges around selection, but again I would say

:38:16.:38:18.

that if that is the view honourable members take,

:38:19.:38:20.

isn't that all the more reason to open debate and discuss how

:38:21.:38:24.

we can have a sensible policy on grammar schools?

:38:25.:38:34.

Speaking as someone who was comprehensively educated

:38:35.:38:36.

in a comprehensive school, I saw the benefits both of academic

:38:37.:38:39.

education but also vocational education.

:38:40.:38:40.

With my right honourable friend not agree that one of the things we have

:38:41.:38:44.

to do in society is to assess young people, make sure that we have

:38:45.:38:48.

teaching for them that stretches them to the utmost so they achieve

:38:49.:38:51.

the best they can, and that actually assessments of all ages

:38:52.:38:54.

are important, so we achieve that, so we get the best possible

:38:55.:38:57.

He is absolutely right and while we are right to focus

:38:58.:39:11.

on the academic attainment on children in our schools

:39:12.:39:14.

because if they do not get those basics they will not be able

:39:15.:39:17.

to succeed, it is also important to recognise that one of the most

:39:18.:39:21.

important thing we can do alongside that is improved reforms

:39:22.:39:24.

on vocational education and apprenticeships,

:39:25.:39:25.

and make sure they are attainable writs for people who want to choose

:39:26.:39:28.

an academic path of life different from an...

:39:29.:39:30.

There are sometimes ascends from the opposition benches that

:39:31.:39:33.

education is purely about academic attainment.

:39:34.:39:35.

It is critical, but it is absolutely not the totality of what we need

:39:36.:39:38.

to be ensuring our children need to be getting.

:39:39.:39:45.

We have to build pathways on skills for children who are going to pursue

:39:46.:39:49.

a course that is much more vocational.

:39:50.:40:14.

The Secretary of State recently told the TES,

:40:15.:40:16.

the times I had best were the teachers that

:40:17.:40:18.

When heads and cheers of governors in my constituency who are working

:40:19.:40:25.

really hard to raise standards and opportunities for all our young

:40:26.:40:28.

people tell me that the recruitment and retention of good teachers

:40:29.:40:31.

is the biggest challenge that they face, does she not

:40:32.:40:34.

understand the frustration that they feel that she is focused

:40:35.:40:37.

on structures where the evidence does not support them working,

:40:38.:40:39.

rather than the problems they see every day in trying to deliver

:40:40.:40:43.

a fantastic education for people on Friday in Nottingham?

:40:44.:40:45.

I would like to thank her for that point.

:40:46.:40:48.

She's right that the issues of teacher recruitment and retention

:40:49.:40:50.

and enabling and unlocking teachers to get on with the job and be

:40:51.:40:54.

excellent in the classroom is truly important.

:40:55.:41:21.

It sits alongside some of the policy options we will be bringing forward

:41:22.:41:24.

around selection, but it is absolutely vital and we're

:41:25.:41:27.

I am sure many across Torbay, we're three grammar schools work

:41:28.:41:31.

well with comprehensive schools, a studio school and a technical

:41:32.:41:33.

college, we are listening to some of the comments today,

:41:34.:41:36.

particularly the Education Secretary, with amazement.

:41:37.:41:38.

There is nothing radical about the idea that we will give

:41:39.:41:41.

arbitrary areas the chance to choose to have the education system

:41:42.:41:44.

It is about two things, about being clearly prepared

:41:45.:41:55.

to leave no stone unturned in asking what it is going to take to improve

:41:56.:41:59.

the education system for children, and it is about having a practical

:42:00.:42:02.

debate on that that goes beyond the ideological debate

:42:03.:42:04.

In Trafford where we have selection, our schools perform very well,

:42:05.:42:16.

not because of selection but because of great teaching

:42:17.:42:19.

But I must tell the Secretary of State that the majority

:42:20.:42:22.

of parents in Trafford, especially parents of children

:42:23.:42:25.

with special educational needs, do not feel that they get

:42:26.:42:27.

their child into the school, in particular they feel that grammar

:42:28.:42:30.

schools are reluctant to take those children with special needs

:42:31.:42:33.

because they want to press the school's results.

:42:34.:42:42.

When the Secretary of State comes forward, and she assure the House

:42:43.:42:45.

that the needs of those particularly vulnerable children will be given

:42:46.:42:48.

appropriate attention in the strategy she proposes?

:42:49.:42:57.

I am very grateful for that question.

:42:58.:42:59.

I would be happy to sit down with her and further discuss this.

:43:00.:43:02.

It is an incredibly important point that we not only raise attainment

:43:03.:43:06.

across the board but we leave no child out of that progress

:43:07.:43:09.

we are seeing in the School improvement.

:43:10.:43:16.

Parents in Kent as a whole see grammar schools and faith -based

:43:17.:43:19.

schools as engines of opportunity and aspiration,

:43:20.:43:21.

and will the government also look at more faith -based schools

:43:22.:43:24.

and more skills -based education at any stage in their lives?

:43:25.:43:30.

I agree it is about choice and a school system that means

:43:31.:43:36.

you can find the right school for your child that is tailored

:43:37.:43:39.

And the Secretary of State tell us how this helps with the government's

:43:40.:43:58.

We know that there are technology colleges, and they seem

:43:59.:44:01.

And have they had any discussions about the church about any impact

:44:02.:44:07.

We will be announcing our policy options in due course and I am sure

:44:08.:44:23.

But education in schools is critical for delivering on our long-term

:44:24.:44:27.

industrial strategy if we're going to meet these challenges

:44:28.:44:30.

of having a successful economy but also having our migration levels

:44:31.:44:33.

One of the ways we can do that incredibly constructively is to meet

:44:34.:44:39.

more of our skill needs from our own young people and to be

:44:40.:44:42.

training them and educating them to be able to play their role

:44:43.:44:46.

in British industry, helping our country be successful.

:44:47.:44:54.

Is my right honourable friend in agreement that with all

:44:55.:44:57.

the different schools now available, if parents do not want to choose

:44:58.:45:00.

a grammar school education for their children, such schools

:45:01.:45:02.

will not survive and thrive, but we should at least give parents

:45:03.:45:05.

with limited means the same choice that better off parents have.

:45:06.:45:15.

We should not accept poor school standards and whatever school

:45:16.:45:18.

We have to challenge low attainment wherever we find it,

:45:19.:45:22.

but the point I am making today is that it is not good enough

:45:23.:45:26.

to just take something off the table because of political ideology.

:45:27.:45:29.

What we need to do is challenge all aspects of our education system

:45:30.:45:32.

to play a greater role in raising attainment and building capacity.

:45:33.:45:39.

There remains a fundamental contradiction at the heart

:45:40.:45:41.

of the government's thinking which I suspect has been

:45:42.:45:44.

muddled by the ideology that they are accusing our

:45:45.:45:46.

side of the household, which is that the school selects

:45:47.:45:49.

or the parents choose, but you cannot have selection

:45:50.:45:52.

So does the suggestion from the Prime Minister last night

:45:53.:46:02.

that she wants to see an element of selection indicate

:46:03.:46:05.

that the government has abandoned parental choice?

:46:06.:46:09.

I would encourage him to wait for the policy options to be

:46:10.:46:12.

announced and I am sure he will want to respond to them

:46:13.:46:15.

I'm sure parents in Europe will warmly welcome a grammar school

:46:16.:46:27.

have to cross the border into Lincolnshire, often

:46:28.:46:30.

But that she acknowledge what a lot of our existing grammar schools

:46:31.:46:34.

There are ?4000 per pupil in my constituency,

:46:35.:46:38.

whereas the lowest performing school in Lincolnshire is ?8,000 per pupil.

:46:39.:46:45.

We are developing our proposals on funding formula for schools,

:46:46.:46:48.

and I know he will want to represent his community as we do that.

:46:49.:46:54.

But it is important that we get a more equitable funding

:46:55.:46:57.

Don't accept this characterisation. We need to improve education at

:46:58.:48:01.

every stage of HRposmac life, including early years.

:48:02.:48:18.

If I can take this opportunity not only to congratulate the honourable

:48:19.:48:21.

lady on the extremely effective way in which she chaired that committee,

:48:22.:48:24.

but the point she is making about the role of this process

:48:25.:48:27.

is extremely important in terms of reinforcing this framework

:48:28.:48:30.

of transparency and accountability, this incredibly complex process

:48:31.:48:33.

which carries a huge bill for the taxpayer.

:48:34.:48:56.

So it is absolutely an imperative for a government of any colour

:48:57.:48:59.

to drive this process forward in as responsible and cost-effective

:49:00.:49:02.

way, with value for money being a prime consideration.

:49:03.:49:04.

But I take on board her suggestions very seriously.

:49:05.:50:04.

There are parts of the country where it has proved challenging. Would my

:50:05.:50:13.

friend agree with me that not only do different things work in

:50:14.:50:16.

different areas, but it is essential that we have a mixture of routs by

:50:17.:50:22.

which young people want to succeed? Is only right that you government is

:50:23.:50:28.

looking at how best we can enhance what is happening now, which is

:50:29.:50:34.

opportunity? He is absolutely right. We have 1 point formal children in

:50:35.:50:39.

good or outstanding schools. It is a variety of ways in which children

:50:40.:50:43.

are learning in the class. But also how we are getting schools to work

:50:44.:50:48.

together collaboratively. We have to look at how we look at that

:50:49.:50:53.

critically. For the 1 millionplus children who do not have the

:50:54.:50:57.

attainment levels we want and live in places where they don't have a

:50:58.:51:01.

chance to get to a good school we have to make sure that we change the

:51:02.:51:05.

terms of trade for the in terms of their education opportunities.

:51:06.:51:38.

I beg to move that leave be given to make a bill to make provision

:51:39.:51:42.

for statutory entitlement for leave of absence from employment

:51:43.:51:44.

for bereaved parents, and for connected purposes.

:51:45.:51:46.

I seek leave to introduce a bill to amend the employment rights act

:51:47.:51:50.

1996, to give parents who have suffered the loss of a child

:51:51.:51:53.

a statutory right to two weeks' paid leave.

:51:54.:51:55.

May I pay credit to the former member for Glasgow South,

:51:56.:51:58.

who campaigned for this change, and the many honourable

:51:59.:52:01.

and Right Honourable members across the house who support this.

:52:02.:52:04.

I know that any member of this house will agree that there can be few

:52:05.:52:07.

more distressing life events than the loss of a child,

:52:08.:52:10.

but with up to 5000 children dying every year, many thousands

:52:11.:52:13.

of parents go through this personal tragedy.

:52:14.:52:15.

My wife and I lost son, who was still born full-term,

:52:16.:52:18.

in October 20 I was entitled to two weeks off work,

:52:19.:52:21.

protected by statute, and paternity laws.

:52:22.:52:23.

I had a very understanding employer so my legal rights did not come

:52:24.:52:26.

into question, but it was comforting to know that I was entitled by law

:52:27.:52:30.

to two weeks off work, that I could take time to come

:52:31.:52:33.

I know how valuable it was to spend precious time with my wife coming

:52:34.:52:39.

to terms with what had just happened, registering the death,

:52:40.:52:42.

making funeral arrangements and preparing to say goodbye.

:52:43.:52:44.

I cannot to understand what it would feel like to lose a child

:52:45.:52:47.

at seven months, two, five, ten, 15 years old.

:52:48.:52:51.

The grief must be unbearable and my heart goes out to any parent

:52:52.:52:54.

who has gone through this terrible life event.

:52:55.:53:01.

But why should these parents not have the same protection in law

:53:02.:53:04.

as those who lose a baby by stillbirth or in the first few

:53:05.:53:08.

In those circumstances, you are entitled to maternity

:53:09.:53:22.

If you lose a child or older baby, nothing.

:53:23.:53:25.

There is no current statutory time off for compassionate

:53:26.:53:29.

or bereavement grounds, but all employees can take immediate

:53:30.:53:32.

In effect, that is a legal right to take unpaid time off to deal

:53:33.:53:36.

There is no set limit on how many days can be taken as lead

:53:37.:53:45.

and a rather vague definition of a reasonable amount of time.

:53:46.:53:48.

Further, there is no statutory right to be paid during this

:53:49.:53:51.

The reference to taking action distinguishes it from bereavement

:53:52.:53:56.

The type of action contemplated by the provision is arranging

:53:57.:54:03.

and attending a funeral, registering the death etc,

:54:04.:54:05.

not to provide a right to leave to cope with the emotional reaction

:54:06.:54:09.

A right to bereavement leave is not protected by law in this respect,

:54:10.:54:17.

so the duty to show compassion is left entirely to the better

:54:18.:54:21.

To be clear, most employers are excellent.

:54:22.:54:26.

They act with compassion and kindness, offering bereaved

:54:27.:54:28.

staff the time they need to come to terms with their loss.

:54:29.:54:31.

They behave in a manner falling well short of what we would

:54:32.:54:37.

Of course, we expect employers to act with sensitivity

:54:38.:54:42.

and flexibility like this, but given the countless examples

:54:43.:54:45.

of organisations acting without sensitivity and with that

:54:46.:54:47.

in flexibility, surely it is time for the Government to act?

:54:48.:54:50.

I am certainly allied to the pressures on businesses

:54:51.:54:52.

at the moment, especially small businesses, and loathe to introduce

:54:53.:54:55.

But given the relatively and, thankfully, small number

:54:56.:55:04.

of bereaved parents annually, the cost to business would be small.

:55:05.:55:08.

I also believe there is an argument that this is beneficial to treat

:55:09.:55:11.

staff with compassion and often pay them fully paid leave.

:55:12.:55:14.

This change would allow them to recover some of

:55:15.:55:22.

It is difficult to say, it would largely come down

:55:23.:55:27.

However, research conducted by the House of Commons library

:55:28.:55:40.

suggests that costs could be as little as ?2 million per year.

:55:41.:55:44.

The reality is that every bereaved parent is different.

:55:45.:55:47.

Some will want to take time off, others will want to get straight

:55:48.:55:51.

In the same way that not everyone takes full maternity

:55:52.:55:55.

The issue, however, is that they have choice

:55:56.:56:05.

Some will cover this from a religious perspective.

:56:06.:56:08.

When a death occurs in Hinduism, relatives are required to observe

:56:09.:56:11.

a 13 day mourning period after cremation, and in Judaism

:56:12.:56:14.

family members are required to stay at home for seven days of mourning

:56:15.:56:17.

Statutory bereavement is a common right across Europe and many

:56:18.:56:23.

Whilst the exact conditions vary it is a total time off

:56:24.:56:30.

and whether said leave is paid or unpaid, it is remarkable that

:56:31.:56:33.

you can argue that Albania or Bosnia and Herzegovina have better worker

:56:34.:56:37.

My proposal would give UK workers some of the best bereavement rights

:56:38.:56:42.

in the world in terms of length of leave possible.

:56:43.:56:49.

Whilst other countries like Israel of the leave with full salary,

:56:50.:56:52.

I believe that longer leave at a lower statutory rate

:56:53.:56:54.

The National bereavement Alliance and the National Council

:56:55.:57:11.

For Palliative Care 2014 report, Life After Death, quoted Conrad 's

:57:12.:57:14.

research showing 81% of people agreed that there should be

:57:15.:57:17.

a legal right to receive paid bereavement leave.

:57:18.:57:19.

A government E petition calling for bereavement leave for parents

:57:20.:57:22.

organised by campaigner Lucy Hurd has over 25,000 signatures,

:57:23.:57:24.

another petition has over 165,000 signatures.

:57:25.:57:26.

The campaign has the support of many organisations,

:57:27.:57:28.

including Child Bereavement Uk, The Lullaby Trust, Working Families,

:57:29.:57:30.

I fully appreciate concerns which the Government and other House

:57:31.:57:46.

It will not be perfect, there will always be sincere

:57:47.:57:51.

disagreements over the length of time given and the eligibility

:57:52.:57:54.

criteria, but let us not make the perfect to the

:57:55.:57:56.

This bill would be an important first step, giving thousands

:57:57.:58:06.

of bereaved parents up and down this country the opportunity to come

:58:07.:58:09.

to terms with their grief without feeling the pressure

:58:10.:58:14.

of having to return to work, and I commend the bill to the Haas.

:58:15.:58:18.

The question is that the honourable member have leave to bring

:58:19.:58:21.

Who will prepare and bring in the bill?

:58:22.:58:33.

Johnny Mercer, Frank Field, Doctor Sarah Woolston,

:58:34.:58:35.

Stuart Mark McDonald, Cilla Fernandez, where streeting,

:58:36.:58:37.

James Cartledge, Greg Mulholland, Mike Wood, James cleverly,

:58:38.:58:39.

Parental bereavement leave statutory entitlement bill.

:58:40.:59:15.

Angela Rayner MP asks an Urgent Question on government plans for grammar schools, from Thursday 8th September, and Will Quince MP introduces a Ten Minute Rule Bill on parental bereavement leave, from Tuesday 6th September.


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